Pros and Cons of Working From Home With Pets
I am writing the outline for this week's blog with my cat, aka the C.E.O. sitting on my lap. She is pretty content, purring away and ensuring the correct distance between her and my keyboard. However, if I try to move beyond the bounds of that distance, she lets me know her displeasure with a quick paw stretch that usually involves the claws and my leg!!
This month we've had a few days dedicated to our pets - International Cat Day, Black Cat Appreciation Day, and National Dog Day. So many of us are working from home, trying to run our business in this new remote environment, and have become regular fixtures for our pets. So I wonder how many of us have changed our routines to accommodate our new office mates? With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to look at the pawsitive side of home office pets and the not-so-pleasant side.
The pros of home office pets:
Health Benefits - Working from home can lead to a sense of isolation and bring on depression and feelings of loneliness; however, studies have shown that a quick cuddle with fluffy can help reduce those melancholy feelings. And I don't have to tell you that stress reduction equals better health. Studies show that pets reduce stress and anxiety, so it makes sense that we are now more productive and focused when working from home.
No Separation Anxiety - Our furbabies get stressed when we're gone for long periods and may exhibit behavioral problems - the pillow just exploded! - to more severe withdrawal symptoms such as not eating or drinking water. However, with their humans working at home, our pet's separation anxiety is seemingly reduced, and our furbabies are happier than ever!
Ice Breaker – Picture it: you're on a Zoom call with your team, but no one wants to speak up. It's really not much different from the live team meetings you used to attend in the conference room physically, or is it? Then, suddenly your fierce feline jumps up on the desk and turns her attention to your face leaving her, umm, back asset facing the webcam. Pets are funny and can be a welcoming ice breaker.
The cons of working at home with pets:
Curiosity – This is the flip side of the ice breaker. Sometimes our furbabies' interest can go a little too far and become a significant disruption. It's hard to control something when we don't know when it will happen. How we react, however, is the key. I've stopped worrying so much about my cat's interruptions and just go with it. Most days, I can get her to settle in my lap with minimum distraction.
Pet boredom – You are home, so to your fluffy little furball, that means you're at their disposal - It's playtime! To help alleviate the boredom factor, set up play times with your pet throughout the day. In the morning, for example, before you start your work day, and again at the end. The important thing to remember is to have consistent interaction times. Consistent routines are very beneficial for pets and will help relieve anxiety disorders. Keeping to the same schedule as much as possible is good for them and you.
Disruptions - When you work from home and have pets, disruptions will happen, The sudden and immediate need to go outside, a frantic barking session, or the chasing of a "ghost" mouse. Aside from locking yourself in a separate room away from your pets, there isn't much you can do to prevent these disruptions, which, as we know, usually happen at the most inopportune time.